Calling big-screen beauties. From the girl-gone-bad look of Winona Ryder in "Heathers" to the classic elegance of Audrey Hepburn in "Sabrina," spring had plenty of high chic and swinging style.

Marc Jacobs: Fashion should try a little harder. Marc Jacobs advanced that platform the day before his show. He put the thought into practice with a presentation that featured a marching band, a timely start and a slew of bona fide celebrities. (When was the last time you saw Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg at a fashion show, or, for that matter, the cutest little future jailbird on the planet?) It also featured genuinely provocative fashion.

Those of us who think about such things considered what encore Jacobs could possibly produce as a follow-up to fall's watershed event. He came up with a powerful cocktail of stimuli, one that resonated with the seldom-articulated sense of wonder so essential to the fashion system, as well as with the more concrete, pragmatic concerns of doing business. This was a case study, masterfully executed, in how fashion should move at a sea-change moment, last season's shocker becoming not necessarily this season's proletarian cup of tea, but a genuine possibility for uberfashion types.

So how did Jacobs try harder? Clothes aside, the shift to 8 p.m. from 9 and the 8:30-ish start were not happenstance, but a decision made in response to years of criticism — a smart, if overdue, move, especially with the traditional show audience feeling increasingly put out by the encroachment of celebrity press. But fashion doesn't happen on the merits of good manners. Jacobs said he's sick of the beachification of city style, that real fashion demands "a little more work." He also noted that he set out to make this collection utterly American — hence the Penn State Nittany Lions marching band — yet with a couture sensibility to the cut and details.

If that sounds like an homage to the latter-day Babe Paley set — absolutely not, or at least not obviously so; Jacobs' Americana always boasts a bit of the bad girl. Here, he gave fall's Violet Parr of "The Incredibles" a school uniform, a spot on the cheerleading squad and something every teen needs now and then — structure. All of which made for an entertaining way to push fall's major points — pretty sobriety and volume — more into the mainstream. This time out, some shapes, mostly pants, expanded, while others were trimmed a bit. And throughout, he stripped away girliness wherever possible ("I wanted to avoid frills, bows and disgustingly sweet things — the things I used to love"). Thus, fall's tulle dirndls stiffened into A-line skirts over knife-pleated petticoats, huge smocks deflated into tentish coats and lace-veiled cardigans defrocked into cashmere sweatshirts.

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